A winning eye for marine scenes

Last updated 13:00 20/03/2014
Dead little blue penguin by Cherie Palmer

TRAGIC BEAUTY: This photo of a dead little blue penguin by Cherie Palmer won the Fragile Seas section and the Nelson regional award in the Cawthron Seaweek photography competition.

Leah Friend
WINNER: Leah Friend with her prize at Tahunanui Beach.
Seaweek photo contest
Rosie Ross photograph 2nd prize Family Fun Section

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The results are in for this year's Cawthron Seaweek photography competition, and Nelson woman Cherie Palmer has triumphed again.

Her picture of a fisherman silhouetted against a golden sunset was the overall winner last year, and gave her the means to capture this year's winning shot, of a dead little blue penguin.

She won a trip to Great Barrier Island after entering the fisherman picture in a competition run by the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association, and found the dead penguin on a beach there.

"He was alive in the morning, but then we spent half a day out fishing and he had carked it when we got back."

She said she photographed the penguin as she had found it, and did not know what caused its death.

Nelson Mail chief photographer and judge Martin de Ruyter said the judging process was done "blind", and it was interesting to see a photographer like Ms Palmer produce another winning entry.

"Cherie Palmer's photograph of a dead little blue penguin, which won the Fragile Seas section as well as the Nelson section, was beautiful and tragic at the same time."

The competition celebrated Seaweek, a national annual celebration of the sea organised by the Association of Environmental Educators.

It opened on February 17 and closed on March 9. The theme was "Our fragile, finite taonga - be alert to the fragility of the marine environment and its treasures".

Cawthron Trust board secretary Judene Edgar said New Zealand's marine area was 15 times larger than its land area, and was home to more than 15,000 known species.

"Sustainable management and a thorough understanding of the ecosystems and processes within our oceans is becoming increasingly challenging and is needed today, more than ever."

Cawthron Institute community education assistant Cristina Armstrong said the photography competition had changed this year. Rather than an overall winner, there were three regional winners and four category winners.

"The prizes donated by regional businesses included stand-up paddle board lessons, a term of swimming lessons, try-dive vouchers, kitesurfing lessons, lifejackets and much more," said Ms Armstrong.

"The competition photo categories were Sea Treasures, Fragile Seas, Family Fun and the Children's category, and we have been blown away by the standard of entries this year".


Winners and runners-up from the Cawthron Institute's annual Seaweek photography competition:


Fragile Seas: Cherie Palmer 1, Carlos Olavarria 2.

Sea Treasures: Rozane Stephenson 1, Tracey Richardson 2.

Family Fun: Lesley Reeves 1, Rosie Ross 2.

Under-13: Leah Friend 1, Joshua Ratcliffe 2.


Nelson: Cherie Palmer 1, Rosie Ross 2.

Tasman: Leah Friend 1, Mark Forward 2.

Marlborough: Tracey Richardson 1, Sarim Dean 2.

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- The Nelson Mail

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